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Thread: Tell me about...BMW Z Series Cars Z3, Z4 etc...

  1. #1
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    Default Tell me about...BMW Z Series Cars Z3, Z4, 3 series etc...

    Any known pitfalls in buying used.

    Maintenance things to look for etc...

    Typical need to know for used purchases.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Nufy; 03-13-2017 at 11:16 AM.
    2011 Ram 1500 QC Sport

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    Not sure about Z3.

    As for Z4 (E85, MY 2003-2008), common problems include the following:
    - Lower portions of the rear suspension spring breaks / snaps.
    - Vanos seal leak
    - Water drain plugged from stuff like leaves for the convertible top, which could lead to convertible top motor issues
    - SMG gear box issue

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    I would advise looking only at the Z4's. Better quality, and better car all-around. (For example: Did you know about the differential welds breaking on the Z3? Not cool.)

    On the Z4, the 2003-early 2006 (?) had the same failing water pump issue that the Z3's had. They also had some steering issues, which requires a column replacement.

    They also had some water flow/drainage issues with the top.

    Edit: Damn. Beat me to most of these things.


    Originally posted by A790 10/10, would let Jeff in my mouth again.

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    What are you looking for? That's a big gap in model years.

    I would go the LCI E89 sDrive35is personally

    click for larger version
    » Click image for larger version

    Or E85 LCI Z4 M Coupe. Of course, both of those are top end and hard to find.

    click for larger version
    » Click image for larger version

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    BMW's are known for their weak cooling systems, typically require overhaul ~150k

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    All I know is I would love a z3/z4 M coupe but don't know if I would love the maintenance on them

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    I owned my Z4 M roadster for one summer, it was a great car, I enjoyed driving it.

    Pros:
    - Amazing to drive when you are just wanting to enjoy the drive.
    - Top down was great, electric top was nice after the manuals I had before.
    - Interior was great, very minimalist.

    Cons:
    - I found it fairly slow, but that is relative to your car experience.
    - The front end is not a look that will age well.
    I like cars.

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    fuck it, buy a Z8
    Originally posted by ExtraSlow
    This thread is great, finally we are mixing the regular hate and intolerance with some actual car talk.
    Originally posted by Mar
    This cannot be for real, nobody's that stupid. I think this guy is just trying to cause shit.

  9. #9
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    I'll chime in when I get home and don't need to type on a phone...

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    I'll start off with a few links that I found in my travels and then I'll go into my own personal experiences with owning an 99 M Coupe.

    Z3 Pre-Purchase Advice - A pretty comprehensive list of the items to look out for. http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...urchase-Advice

    M Coupe Buyers Guide - If you are looking for an M Coupe this is a good place to start your search. http://www.mcoupebuyersguide.com/listings

    M Roadsters Buyers Guide - If you are looking for an M Roadster http://www.mroadsterbuyersguide.com/listings

    Z3 Coupe Buyers Guide - If you are looking for an Z3 Coupe - http://www.z3coupebuyersguide.com/listings

    Bimmerforums Z3 Section - Not too sure if it's cool to post links to other forums, but that is the forum that I found to contain the most amount of information when it comes to Z3's. It's a great community, incredible amount of DIY information and lot's of help from some very knowledgeable folks if you have any specific questions.

    I've owned my 99 M Coupe for close to 3 years now and have put on around 8,000 km during the summer months. It has around 109,000 km now. It was one of my "reasonably priced" dream cars from my youth and once the time was right I started looking for one on and off for close to 2 years before I found the one that is currently sitting in my garage.

    Are you looking for a coupe or roadster?

    From a maintenance perspective, its been pretty good to me so far. All of the maintenance that has been performed on the car was all preventative and for the most part fairly straightforward to do. So far I've done the following based on the recommendations on the forums:
    - Cooling system update. Its been noted that the water pump has a plastic impeller that likes to break off and turn into a little bit of a grenade under your hood taking out everything in its reach. Parts were ordered off of ECS Tuning and the job took me around a few hours to complete. I would recommend purchasing a spare plastic radiator screw during the job mine broke and had to pay a wonderful $17 at the dealership for one where as ECS was selling them for $6.
    - Glove box sag kit. Glove boxes like to sag with time due to a big metal piece inside the door. I bought a machined piece of metal for around $40 off of ebay and it fixed the problem.
    - Oil changes. I buy my oil filters off of ECS and use the BMW oil. Cost is around $70 and is done once a year.
    - Air filter and fuel filter. Fairly inexpensive and purchased parts from ECS.

    That is pretty much all of the maintenance that I've completed so far. I have a few other items on my list such as replacing the bushings on the seat as it rocks a little bit, fluids and giving it a nice polish one of these days.

    The big one is the subframe / trunkfloor / differential mount failure. It was one of the things that was on my mind when I initially bought the car and I would strongly recommend taking a peak underneath the car to see if there are any spot welds that are letting go, if the differential mount is letting go, or if there are any spot welds letting go when looking from inside the trunk as it is not a cheap fix. There are kits available to fix this issue if you were to encounter it. There is a kit by Randy Forbes, which is I the gold standard and then Dinan also offers an option. There is a shop locally that installs the Dinan kit and if my coupe were ever to experience this issue I would most likely just take the Dinan route since it's an option that is available locally. In my personal opinion, this is a well documented issue and I would not let it sway my purchase from potentially owning an awesome car. Perform as much due diligence as possible with a visual inspection followed by a PPI from a shop that you trust.

    Read through the "Subframe / trunk floor / differential mount failure" thread in the Z3 subforum at Bimmerforums for all the subframe information you could ever want. There are also pictures that show what to look out for.

    Other than that, I absolutely love mine. I've received plenty of thumbs up, had some great conversations with fellow enthusiasts and it's just a fun car to cruise around in.

    If you have any specific questions in regards to the Z3 feel free to ask away. Also, looking forward to hearing what 95EagleAWD chimes in as his is a DD from what I remember and he also has the S54 (2001-2002) where as I have the S52 (1999-2000) motor.

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    Originally posted by dirtsniffer
    fuck it, buy a Z8
    I can attest to the engine being excellent. I love the S62 in my M5

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    Thanks for the info guys...

    Keep it coming...

    Once I get rid of my 944 I will be looking to replace it with something.

    Just not sure yet, hence why I am asking about the BMW Z cars.

    Cheers.
    2011 Ram 1500 QC Sport

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    bump to add BMW 3 series convertibles to the list.

    The extra two seats would come in handy.


    For example:

    http://www.atlanticautosales.org/use...619b326845.htm


    I know it has high kms..

    What should one look for in a 3 series of that model year range.
    2011 Ram 1500 QC Sport

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    Cooling systems, rear trailing arm bushings, front control arm bushings

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    Originally posted by dirtsniffer
    fuck it, buy a Z8
    Beat me to it.


    Also, +1 for E85 M coupe, and also +1 for E85 M coupe feeling a little slow. Obviously, YMMV, but I was surprised at how lethargic it felt. (although that could have to do with the fact that I finished a ride along in a Ford GT around the road course a few minutes earlier :p )

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    Why not a cayman or boxster?? Just want to try something different?

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    coming soon: Z5 / Supra

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    Originally posted by danno
    Why not a cayman or boxster?? Just want to try something different?
    Budget is a limiting factor.

    I need a third car as my son is now driving.

    Might as well make it something sporty for me.

    Then the wife can have my truck, kid can take her car...LOL
    2011 Ram 1500 QC Sport

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